Ultrasound forms an integral part in many examinations of the horse. It is regularly used to diagnose conditions causing lameness such as damage to tendons or ligaments, bone surfaces and joints. Ultrasound is also used to image the lungs in horses to diagnose conditions such as pneumonia and lung abscesses.
Ultrasound is a non invasive imaging technique used to examine the musculoskeletal system, thorax and abdomen. A sound wave is produced by the ultrasound probe which contains crystals that resonate at a high frequency (2-13MHz). The ultrasound probe is applied to the skin over the area of interest so the sound waves can penetrate the skin. The sound waves then travel into the tissue at different depths before they are reflected back. This reflected sound is then detected by the probe where they can then be converted into a real time image (B mode) on the screen (see above).